The Foundation for Small Voices’ signature Songwriting Workshop with composer Jim Papoulis and invited artists began years ago as a natural extension of the concert series we were doing with Hyatt International Hotels and children’s choirs in destination cities. We found choristers eager to be asked about their thoughts for the future. With a gentle and respectful encouragement, choristers frequently bring forth their deepest thoughts and hopes, which become the lyrics for the song.
In a series of sessions, professional artists meet with choristers or students (ages 7-18) to teach the basics of song composition. The workshop offers the experience of creative collaboration and promotes teamwork and respect. By the end of the sessions, children who may have begun with little to no musical experience write and perform an original work.
The Musical Approach
The workshop’s curriculum is multi-leveled and flexible to the needs of the community. In addition to the main areas of study (composition, vocal exercises, lyrics, rhythm, and instrumentation), the song is recorded and performed live by the children.
Small Voices are Heard
When a child recognizes that they have a voice and deserve to be heard, The Foundation for Small Voices has achieved a major accomplishment. One of our workshop’s main objectives is to encourage musical expression in those who are seldom heard, and on some level, we succeed with every song that is sung, created, or heard.
I believe I speak for all of us when I say we sincerely appreciate what you have done for us. For younger children, you have given them hope and the realization they can make a difference. For others you helped, by taking the time out of your busy schedule and coming here, that real people can aspire to their dreams. You have inspired many lives by coming here. I know you’ve inspired mine. – Dominick, age 10